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IMFT 25nm Flash die

Will multi-tier flash arrays come to a data centre near you?

Multi-tier storage is a familiar concept in data centres and large server installations. In the old days, this was often a simple case of having a single-access bus type with different-speed disks, for example SCSI-based disk arrays with 15,000rpm disks in the “fast” set and 7,200rpm or 5,400rpm in the “slow” set. Commonly, …
Dave Cartwright, 17 Sep 2014
X300 SSDs

SanDisk hopes to lure in enterprise clients with a little TLC (SSD)

SanDisk has launched its X300 3-bit per cell TLC SSD, which has neat-looking read performance – although the reported write endurance is less impressive. The X300 comes in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacity points and is classed by Sandy as a client SSD, a mainstream corporate drive, meaning it can replace business users' …
Chris Mellor, 03 Oct 2014
OCZ Agility EX SSD

OCZ pitches 'best value' SLC SSD

OCZ claims is latest solid-state drive is the most cost-effective model based on speedy single-layer cell (SLC) Flash technology. Most SSDs on sale today of any significant capacity use cheaper but slower multi-layer cell (MLC) Flash to deliver storage of between 64GB and 256GB at reasonable - but still more than hard drive - …
Tony Smith, 27 Aug 2009
Lego Monster Fighters Lord Vampyre

Micron cackles as it unveils its chameleonic FLYING DISK KILLER

Micron has a new M600 client SSD that changes flash type on the fly to accelerate writes. It's an update on the M500 series, we understand, and is made from 16nm NAND instead of the M500's 20nm. There are mSATA, M.2 and 2-5-inch SSD formats available with capacities being 128GB, 256GB and 512GB for the mSATA and M.2 formats, and …
Chris Mellor, 17 Sep 2014
SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD

SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD – courting speed freaks and gamers

Typical. Just when we've gotten over the shock of a SSD drive being offered with a 10-year warranty, namely Samsung’s SSD850 PRO (reviewed recently), when another appears on the block, this time from SanDisk. SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD I wonder if you asked the man in the street to name his top four SSD …
Simon Crisp, 22 Sep 2014

ICO raps UK Student Loans Co for leaking MEDICAL files and more

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has criticised Blighty's Student Loans Company for handing students' medical reports and other private files over to the wrong people. In various blunders, records including medical notes and a psychological assessment were accidentally leaked to an unnamed outside organisation, sent …
John Leyden, 28 May 2014
Diablo chart 2

Diablo: Get a load of this, PCIe flash-floggers. It's DIMM fine stuff

Diablo has a devilish message for PCIe flash users and suppliers; we’re coming to get you with better, faster, more consistently performing technology. Diablo provides Memory Channel Storage (MCS) technology to SanDisk’s subsidiary SMART Storage. It’s OEMed on to Supermicro and also IBM (soon to be Lenovo) for its x86 servers as …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2014

VMware's MARVIN emerges as 'EVO' for branch offices and web-scale rigs

VMware has confirmed its long-suspected move into converged infrastructure hardware by announcing “EVO:RAIL”, a new “ hyper-converged infrastructure appliance” the company says “is the first solution in a family” of such offerings. EVO:RAIL will be a 2U, four-node, bundle of compute and storage hardware, plus vSphere, VSAN, …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2014
SanDisk_Ultra_II

Creaky PC? SanDisk gives users a NAND with speedy '3-bitter' SSD

SanDisk has pushed out an Ultra II SSD for retrofitting to PCs that uses lower cost 3-bits-per-cell NAND technology. TLC or 3 bits per cell flash stores 50 per cent more information in each cell than MLC (2 bits per cell) and is cheaper to make on a cost/bit basis. But the number of times TLC flash can be rewritten, the P/E …
Chris Mellor, 20 Aug 2014
Optimus Prime Transformer toy

It's here, the 4TB FLASH drive: SanDisk rips sheet from the Optimus MAX

SanDisk has announced a new 4TB flash drive, double the capacity of the biggest solid-state drive available today. The 4TB Optimus MAX – which sounds like the big bad brother of an Optimus Prime toy – follows the 2TB Optimus Eco, a technology SanDisk acquired when it bought SMART Storage. The new SSD can take three full drive …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2014
Samsung gen 2 3D V-NAND SSD

Samsung, with this new 3D NAND SSD, you're really spoiling us ... or perhaps a rival?

We’re making it, but we’re not going to tell you much about it. That's more or less what Samsung has to say about its second-generation 3D V-NAND and the flash drives the tech is going into. As the name suggests, 3D V-NAND is made up of layers of flash cells stacked one on the other to increase storage capacity without …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jun 2014
Vulture

Fine print: Dell bod tells us the details of Fluid Cache for SAN

Fluid Cache for SAN is Dell’s technology to integrate server PCIe flash cards and networked SAN storage. We talked to Bob Fine, director of product marketing at Compellent to find out more about how it works. El Reg: Is Compellent's Storage Center (Data Progression functionality) loading data into the connected server's PCIe …
Chris Mellor, 16 Apr 2014
Exocet anti-ship missile

VMware EMC partner Cisco inks reselling deal... with Simplivity

Cisco has fired a ship-killer of an Exocet missile at VMware’s EVO:RAIL by doing a server reselling deal with Simplivity. There are two hyper-converged server/storage/networking system leaders, both startups – Simplivity and Nutanix. VMware's EVO: RAIL is hyper-converged system software running on the hardware of certified …
Chris Mellor, 26 Aug 2014
Tegile Zebi chassis

Hybrid flash mutant Tegile: ARRAY with Dell, we say... 100 times

Hybrid flash-disk array tin-meister Tegile claims its hardware has replaced more than a 100 Dell Compellent arrays at customer sites. The Zebi array, given analyst firm DCIG’s top “Best in Class” accolade in its 2013 Hybrid Storage Array Buyer’s Guide, uses flash for performance data and disk for less performance sensitive data …
Chris Mellor, 05 Dec 2013
Easter Egg

Violin plays storage world like a fiddle, 140 characters at a time

Violin Memory's flash array fightback starts with a present from the Easter bunny: a whole new array. Violin, you will recall, lost CEO Don Basile after its IPO was followed by deepening losses and falling share prices. Incoming CEO Kevin DeNuccio has stabilised the ship, refocussed engineering and recruited new executives, one …
Chris Mellor, 11 Apr 2014

Dell's new Compellent will make you break down in tiers... of flash

Dell thinks its Compellent arrays will be more compelling with automated tiering extended to different types of flash, policy-driven deduplication and namespace expansion added to the filesystem, and more drives in a smaller space. The storage boxes' new Storage Center 6.4 software can handle flash tiering and distinguish …
Chris Mellor, 05 Jun 2013
XtremIO array and 4 X-Brick nodes

XtremIO dear: Dell brags of being cheapest of the big flash four

As EMC prepares for its 14 November launch of its all-flash XtremIO box, Dell has put out a analyst paper explaining that on price – which is what counts in the expensive all-flash storage world – it is the bossdog of flash arrays. Michael Dell’s privately owned biz points to an ESG technical lab validation (PDF) that compares …
Chris Mellor, 11 Nov 2013
IBM logo

IBM tells Vegas crowd: Software-defined? Yeah, we're all about that

Based temporarily at the Mandelay Bay hotel on the Las Vegas strip for its Edge conference, Big Blue has blasted out a set of storage announcements. IBM appears to be taking its shot at the ever-expanding storage market as the Big Data era begins in earnest. At the event, IBM rolled out its TMS acquisition-based FlashSystem …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jun 2013
MLC Only big

Flash card latency: Time to get some marks on benches

Fusion-io flash cards outperformed a slew of competitors in a Marklogic NoSQL benchmark reported by StorageReview - for which much thanks. The benchmark rig is detailed in the article text and it notes that tested storage configs must have a more-than-650GB usable capacity, meaning individual flash devices can be bunched up. …
Chris Mellor, 25 Mar 2013

Supercapacitors have the power to save you from data loss

As solid state drives (SSDs) become a critical part of today's storage, it is becomes increasingly important to learn about the supercapacitors that help prevent data loss. The presence – and type – of supercapacitors in SSDs should be as important a consideration as choosing between MLC, eMLC and SLC-based drives. …
Trevor Pott, 24 Sep 2014
The new Dell SC4020 array

Dell pivots to Asia with frugal flasher

Dell has revealed a new array – the SC4020 – and an aggressive plan to go after pure-play flash array vendors with a promise it will sell for under $US100,000. The SC4020 is, according to Dell storage supremo Alan Atkinson, a shrunken Compellent array. That's shrunken in a good way: everything Compellent arrays and Dell's Fluid …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Mar 2014
The Register breaking news

Dell's Compellent beats Isilon with 85 per cent fewer nodes

Dell has beaten a 56-node Isilon system's file-serving benchmark performance with just eight nodes - and flash file access punch. The benchmark is the SPECsfs2008 NFS file-serving one and Dell's Compellent system achieved 494,000 IOPS with 8 nodes, each having 12 fast SLC flash drives and 120 slower MLC flash drives; an all- …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

Flash floggers whip out flash cards, SSDs, unleash frantic flood of updates

While Pure Storage's $150m funding round and the WD/Virident and Cisco/Whiptail acquisitions take centre stage at the flash fairground thee's lots going on at the side stalls with Fusion-io, Intel, OCZ and sTec. Fusion-io ioFX cards Fusion-io ioFX workstation flash card HP customers can optionally use Fusion-io's ioFX flash …
Chris Mellor, 11 Sep 2013
Micron P420m

Micron brandishes sharp new flash blade, lunges at Fusion-io

Micron is touting a new server flash drive that's apparently significantly faster than Fusion-io's market-leading ioDrive 2. Micron is believed to be supplying its PCIe-format drives to EMC for the storage giant's XtremSF flash cards. (EMC's other supplier is Virident.) Micron's P420m flash drive comes in both PCIe and 2.5in …
Chris Mellor, 07 May 2013

Dell: New storage dish? Nah - we'll just mash up EqualLogic and Compellent

Steady adaptation, no new products and no super-niche specialisation please: these were the three takeaways El Reg storage desk retrieved from a briefing with Alan Atkinson, vice president and general manager at Dell Storage. The impression we gained was that Dell is set on expanding its mainstream enterprise storage offering's …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jul 2013

Micron posts first quarterly profit for two YEARS

Hip hip hooray! Flash and memory fab operator Micron has made a quarterly profit, its first for eight quarters. Micron saw revenues of $2.3bn in its third fiscal 2013 quarter, ended 30 May 2013. This was agreeably larger than the previous quarter's $2.1bn and also the year-ago quarter's $2.2bn. Last quarter it made a loss of $ …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jun 2013
PSS PCIe card

IBM chip boffins mix phase-change-flash cocktail: Voila! SUPER fast memory card

IBM has gone and surprised us all with a pretty good Phase Change Memory product research and demo effort: a hybrid PCM/NAND server flash card that has at least 12 times lower latency than an enterprise PCIe flash card. The hybrid card, Big Blue claims, completed 99.9 per cent of 32-sector write requests each within 240 …
Chris Mellor, 08 May 2014

Future of storage: Micron bets chips on 3D NAND flash – but NOT YET

As far as the world's number two DRAM chip-maker is concerned, 2D or planar NAND can go through another lithography cycle before 3D techniques may become necessary because a two-year-old NAND design change has enabled Micron to scale its lithography down to 16nm and maybe beyond. El Reg interviewed Glen Hawk, Micron's VP for its …
Chris Mellor, 08 Aug 2013
DVD it in many colours

Tosh flashifies disk in demo hybrid drive

Toshiba has demonstrated a 1TB hybrid disk drive at the Flash Memory summit; that's 250GB bigger than Seagate's Momentus XT. The 2.5-inch XT drive is Seagate's third generation hybrid drive and features a 2-platter, 7,200rpm disk drive fitted with either a 4GB fast SLC flash cache in the 500GB product or an 8GB SLC NAND cache in …
Chris Mellor, 30 Aug 2012
Flape HW costs

Flash data storage: Knocking TAPE off the archiving top spot

It was a bombshell when Facebook's Jason Taylor said he would like to use flash solid-state storage as an archive medium, but his reasons made perfect sense. Facebook users had lots of photos stored in their albums and rarely accessed them. But when they did want to look at them they wanted them to come up straight away, whether …
Chris Mellor, 10 Sep 2014
LSI SandForce SF3700

What took you 2 years? LSI finally rolls out next-gen SandForce kit

LSI has finally brought the drawn-out development process for the next generation SandForce controller to a close. It now has third-generation controllers supporting four times bigger flash drives and both PCIe and SATA interfaces from a single ASIC. Bye-bye SAS. LSI bought SandForce for its controllers two years ago. These …
Chris Mellor, 19 Nov 2013
server room

Chip alchemists 'turn cheap silicon into longer-lasting flash'

It's rumoured that Fusion-io has become a NAND alchemist and can turn low-cost MLC flash into faster and longer-lived SLC flash. But why, oh why, would it want to do it? SLC, or single-level cell, flash stores one binary bit per cell and is the fastest form of flash with the longest working life; think 10,000 raw program-erase ( …
Chris Mellor, 04 May 2012
The Register breaking news

8,400 email addresses spaffed by Student Loans Company

The Student Loans Company (SLC) has apologised after inadvertently leaking the email addresses of about 8,400 students this week. Anyone who had got half-way through filling in an application form on the SLC site was sent a motherlode of personal data on Monday: emailed reminders to complete the electronic paperwork included an …
Anna Leach, 22 Mar 2012

Military strategy game? Nope, these 'battle cards' are an EMC sales tool

EMC has issued its sales troops with a set of anti-Pure Storage battle cards – and Pure has responded with a blog heaping praise on EMC. EMC's card of spoilers says: “Pure remains a constant threat as they are well capitalised and target our use cases in high performance databases, virtual servers and VDI.” Hopkinton’s claims …
Chris Mellor, 15 Nov 2013
Facebook data center - interior

Is the all-flash data centre just a tantalising dream?

An all-flash data centre? It’s an intriguing idea. The hardware and software components may be there, but what about the business case, including the overall price/performance and total cost of ownership? Yes, such a data centre will be free of power-gobbling and rack space-consuming spinning disk enclosures, bringing consequent …
Chris Mellor, 08 Sep 2014
Stradivarius violin reproduction

Violin's arrays play in Concerto - but they can't hit the dedupe notes yet

In a major architectural extension Violin Memory has revealed its new Concerto 7000 array. This uses Violin's existing 6200 hardware and gives it a separate high-availability controller front end, with software to provide business continuity, data management and protection features - but not deduplication. Let’s just recap …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jun 2014
Kingston Fury SSD

Top 10 SSDs: Price, performance and capacity

Since we last ran a roundup of SSDs, the market consumer for the drives has moved on at lightning speed, not just in terms of performance, but also in NAND technology and capacity. The performance advances are such that even some entry level SSDs are fast approaching the SATA 6Gb/s limit – well, for sequential performance anyway …
Simon Crisp, 03 Oct 2014

STEC this out: Flash biz bakes 2TB solid-state drives

Enterprise-grade flash maker STEC is bringing out two 2TB whoppers: an SAS SSD and a PCIe flash card. The 2TB s840 is a refresh of an existing enterprise-grade SAS SSD which uses 2-bit MLC flash and has 200GB, 400GB and 800GB capacities. The 2TB model will arrive in February. This s840 delivers up to 75,000 random read IOPS, 11, …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2013
Toshiba 7mm hybrid disk drive slider

Tosh puts slim model on a single-plate diet to create new 7mm mutant

Toshiba has put its hybrid flash-disk drive on a diet - and a new, slimmer device has emerged with just one spinning platter. Toshiba 7mm hybrid disk drive Toshiba's 7mm hybrid disk drive The new MQ01ABFH is a single-plate version of the existing MQ01ABDH, and is available in 320GB and 500GB capacities. The earlier two- …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jun 2013

SMART's new SSD wrings extra juice from MLC flash

SMART has introduced a solid state drive that can do 50 full drive writes a day for five years using consumer-grade MLC flash; that's 89,000 P/E cycles and a 50X jump up from the raw NAND rate. The new product is the Optimus Ultra Plus: a 2.5-inch, 6Gbit/s SAS SSD that has the same performance numbers – 500MB/sec dual-port read …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jul 2012
Plextor M5 Pro 256GB SSD

Plextor flash gobbles blue pill, promises some long-lasting TLC

Plextor is going to reveal a triple-level cell (TLC) solid-state drive, the world's second TLC SSD, at CeBIT 2013. TLC NAND stores three-bits per cell and is cheaper to make than two-bit MLC or one-bit SLC. TLC chips are also slower at accessing data and have a shorter working life. This has, so far, prevented its adoption by …
Chris Mellor, 05 Mar 2013
Seagate logo

Sneaky Seagate slips 'world's fastest' enterprise disk mutant into the wild

Seagate has quietly built an enterprise-class 600GB hybrid drive: it combines the capacity of spinning platters with a fast flash cache of hot data. Up until now Seagate has only delivered notebook-computer-class hybrid disks, namely the Momentus XT and the Laptop SSHD product lines. Oddly it hasn't actually formally announced …
Chris Mellor, 19 Jun 2013
Dell EqualLogic PS6210

Dell bundles data mgmt AND flash into 1.2m IOPS flashy array

Dell has produced an all-flash array within the EqualLogic environment, thinking customers need existing data management capabilities on top of flash speeds, and not a binary either-or choice. It has revved up its mid-range iSCSI SAN array with the PS6210, following on from the PS6110, a 64-bit version of the EqualLogic …
Chris Mellor, 11 Dec 2013
FabricCache from QLogic

QLogic: 3 words - caching SAN adapter. Just blew your mind, didn't we?

QLogic has announced its transparent adapter-based flash caching aimed at accelerating applications that access a SAN for data. FabricCache is the first product implementation of its Mount Rainier technology and, as well as adding a flash cache to QLogic's Host Bus Adapters (HBAs), it shares that cache between clustered servers …
Chris Mellor, 21 Mar 2013
Micron Memory Technology timelines

Micron: PCM? Pah. Gaze upon our MUTANT flashy memory cube

A Micron analysts day revealed the boys from Boise think nothing much will happen with resistive RAM technologies like the Memristor for five years, and that volatile/non-volatile memory configs for servers are going to grow. During the conference itself Micron presented lots of technology goodies. CEO Mark Durkan started out …
Chris Mellor, 10 Feb 2014
The Register breaking news

Hitachi offers to cram 300TB of hardness into your array tray

Hitachi Data Systems has announced a flash storage tray for Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) arrays, utilising its own in-house developed flash controller. It's called Hitachi Accelerated Flash (HAF) and uses non-volatile memory with two bits per cell. The controller is a multi-core chip managing flash memory dies rather than …
Chris Mellor, 07 Nov 2012
cable

LSI's Nytro bombshell blows roof off next-gen PCIe flash

LSI has launched its new Nytro rebranding and inadvertently pre-announced upcoming PCIe MLC flash cards. The storage and networking electronics biz is combining its legacy MegaRAID controller cards, WarpDrive SSDs and caching software in a portfolio of Nytro Application Acceleration products, and pushing the idea that PCIe flash …
Chris Mellor, 05 Apr 2012

You know flash is king when disk giant Seagate grows its SSD line

Seagate is going to expand its solid state drive (SSD) line this year using co-developed Samsung controller technology and introducing its first multi-level cell drive. Seagate and Samsung have a flash chip supply and controller partnership. Stifel Nicolaus analyst Aaron Rakers has talked to Seagate execs and gleaned that: …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jan 2013
Seagate 3TB Barracuda XT

Seagate takes 7.2k notebook drives out back - and shoots them

A momentous moment: Seagate will end production of its Momentus 7,200rpm 2.5in disk-only drives. The storage giant will stop making the gear by the end of this year to focus on drives mixed with flash memory, although it will continue to pump out 5,400rpm disks for cheap laptops. “We are going stop building our notebook 7, …
Chris Mellor, 04 Mar 2013
channel

Hitachi GST flash stash speed dash

What a turn up for the books: Hitachi GST has just introduced a multi-level cell SSD that's faster – not slower – than its single level cell product. It's also cheaper, but that's expected. MLC flash is supposed to be slower than SLC flash. The SLC Ultrastar SSD400S does 41,000 and 21,000 random read and write IOPS respectively …
Chris Mellor, 09 Aug 2011